To Nick Vincent’s credit, he didn’t prolong the agony. Phillip Ervin sent Vincent’s second pitch in the bottom of the 11th inning over the right field fence, and the walk-off home run handed the Phillies yet another loss that they couldn’t afford.
Both starting pitchers performed well. Through the fifth inning, the Phillies could only score one run against Sonny Gray, and the Reds were held scoreless by Jason Vargas. But in the bottom of the sixth, Jose Iglesias once again hurt the Phillies.
It isn’t clear if Gabe Kapler is contractually obligated to have Jared Hughes pitch in every game, but after Iglesias’ homer, the oft-used reliever came sprinting in. Shortly after, the ball went sprinting out off the bat of Eugenio Suarez.
Fast: Jared Hughes running in from the bullpen.— Smarty Jones (@TheSmartyJones) September 5, 2019
Faster: The ball leaving the park after Hughes starts pitching.
Fastest: The odds of the Phillies winning once Hughes starts pitching.
The Reds helped the Phillies get back in it. First, Gray was removed after six despite only throwing 89 pitches and appearing to be in complete control. Then, the Reds gifted the Phillies a run in the seventh thanks to an error by right fielder Aristides Aquino.
The following inning, the Phillies tied it up thanks to the B.C.I.B.
The team traded zeroes for the next few innings, but considering how many relievers the Phillies used in the game (eight!) it seemed inevitable that one of them was going to have a breakdown. Sure enough, Nick Vincent did the “honors.”
Vincent’s shot might not have been a home run in a lot of parks - it barely cleared Bryce Harper’s glove as is - but the Phillies’ batters were playing in the same dimensions, and they failed to take much advantage.
The Phillies blew yet another opportunity to start a magical season-ending run that seems necessary if they want to make the playoffs. And with each disappointing loss, it becomes more and more clear that this team may simply not have such a run in them.